Free Essay

Validity of Reward for Return

In: Other Topics

Submitted By jeffersonp2001
Words 435
Pages 2


To: Reader

Date: February 1, 2012

Re: Validity of reward for return of lost object

Relevant Facts

Alan finds a lost object belonging to Bart. Alan intends on returning the object to the rightful owner. Bart, after realizing that he lost the object and after Alan finding it, offers a reward for the return of the object. The events have happened in Boring, Oregon.

Issue Presented

The issue at hand is whether a reward for the return of the object is binding when it’s made after the object has already been found by another person.

Applicable Law

In Oregon Supreme Court ruling MacFarlane v. Bloch, 59 Ore. 1 (Or. 1911), the court has sided with the finder of a lost pocketbook and demanded that the rightful owner pays a reward to the finder, after the pocketbook has been returned. The owner claimed that the pocketbook was found before the rewards has been announced, and that the finder delayed returning to pocketbook. “To entitle plaintiff to a reward for finding a lost pocketbook, it was immaterial that she found the book before the offer was made, the reward not being for the finding but for the return of the book.” MacFarlane, 2. The court decided that it was irrelevant when the offer for reward was made, as the reward is for returning the item to the rightful owner and not for merely finding it.

The Oregon Supreme Court has also ruled in Watts v. Ward, 1 Ore. 86, 88 (Or. 1854), that the finder has a right to hold onto the lost property until a reward promised to him or her is actually paid. “ Where a reward is offered for lost property, the finder, when he complies with the terms of the offer, has a right to retain the property in his hands until the promised reward is paid to him.” Watts, 4.

Application to our Case

In our case, Alan has found an object and has the intention to return it to Bart. Even though the reward for returning of the object has been made after Alan found it, he is still entitled to a reward. The reward is for returning the object to Bart, which once he does, will satisfy the terms of the reward. MacFarlane. Furthermore, Alan can hold on to the lost object until Bart meets his end of the reward and compensates Alan for returning it to the rightful owner. Watts.


In conclusion, Alan is entitled to a reward for returning the object to Bart, even though the offer was made after Alan has found the object.

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